When I was taking courses in University for my degree in Business, we had to analyze various business cases and provide theories as to why the business had failed. I remember looking at each case and thinking that if they had just been more effective in their communication, many of the problems could have been significantly reduced and even eliminated.
It was this realization that started my journey to study human behaviour and communication for the rest of my career.
Do you wonder sometimes what you said to cause the other person to react so negatively?
The effectiveness of communication is not defined by the communication but by the response.
~ Dr. Milton Erickson
I’ve discovered that the best way to describe effective and ineffective communication is clearly explained by Eric Berne who founded the theory of Transactional Analysis in the 1950’s. I’ve shared this theory with many of my clients and they too have found it very illuminating.
Here’s my summary of this theory:
There are basically three voices we use in communication. Parent, Adult and Child.
The Parent voice is formed by external events and influences as we grow up. It is authoritative and can come across as judgmental and even worse shaming the other person.
The Adult voice is based on information and facts in the present. For clear and effective communication, the goal is to stay in this voice as much as possible.
The Child voice is based on our reactions and feelings towards external events. It’s often the most emotional response of the three.
So, how does this work?
When two people have a conversation about the facts and information in the adult voice, there is clear and effective communication.
When either person steps into a judgmental or highly emotional state, then the lines of communication cross and the conversation breaks down.
Pay attention to how you respond to the other person’s voice. Stay in the adult voice even when you’re triggered and want to lash out in judgment or be defensive as this will just create problems.
Please remember that you can only change yourself and your communication. You cannot change others, so concentrate on your voice and how you communicate.
If you’re interested in discovering more about how to communicate effectively, you’ll be interested in learning more about Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). I train and certify you to be an NLP Practitioner and NLP Coach.
When you change the dynamics of how you communicate, your world changes for the better. You’ll discover deeper and more meaningful relationships and have significantly less conflict and drama in your life.
How can I state this for sure? Because, I’ve seen a huge difference in myself and my clients.
If you’d like to know more about how to improve your communication effectiveness, set up a Clarity Session with me.
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